Jealousy is a complex emotion. It may feel like you’re being abandoned or forgotten. Or like someone is trying to humiliate you personally. But at its core, jealousy is not always a bad thing.
It only feels natural to feel jealous when your significant other talks to someone attractive or when your colleague drives to work in a brand new Maserati.
It’s when those feelings begin to consume you, when you make decisions based on those emotions, that a problem forms. The negativity can seep into other aspects of your life, tainting relationships and diminishing your happiness.
How to Overcome Your Jealousy
The good news is you don’t have to let jealousy dictate your life. If you’re feeling the green-eyed monster clinging to your back, there are five tricks you can use to silence it.
1. Challenge your insecurities
When you feel jealous, it typically has nothing to do with another person — it’s all about yourself. Give some thought to insecurities you face and how you compare yourself to others.
Do you feel like you’re not pretty enough? Like you don’t make enough money? Maybe you’d like a bigger house? The key to ridding yourself of jealousy is to change your thought process.
It can be useful to challenge irrational thoughts with logic. Get a notepad and, in one column, write down your insecurities. Beside each vulnerability, create a column for evidence to the contrary.
For example, one insecurity could be that you’re jealous of your husband’s female coworker. Your defeating logic would be that your husband chose to marry and dedicate his life to you.
2. Surround yourself with good people
One way to feel more positive and let go of feelings of jealousy is to surround yourself with good people. Good people aren’t just those who are upbeat and smile all the time. They’re people that lift you up and you help you achieve your full potential.
Think about the people you spend the most time with and how they make you feel. Then, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do they support you?
- Do they help you reach goals?
- Do they make you feel special?
- Do they make you feel attractive?
- Do they encourage personal growth?
When you surround yourself with good people, you can cut out negative feelings like jealousy and become a better version of yourself.
3. Talk to someone your trust about it
When riddled with doubt and self-loathing, go to someone who loves you and talk it out. Be honest about your feelings and what brought them on.
Try not to place blame on others, such as your partner, and instead focus on how you can get over these setbacks. People who care about you will work with you to find peace of mind.
For most people, jealousy is not linked to facts. It’s fear-driven, something we stir within ourselves when feeling uncertain. Someone who loves you can point out the facts and ease insecurities. They can give a pep talk and help you realize why you are fantastic. Try to communicate openly and set boundaries when needed.
4. Write out your feelings
It can be hard to talk about emotions like jealousy, even with a trusted friend or partner. It becomes even more difficult to voice your concerns if you feel they’re irrational. One way to help sort through your feelings and eliminate jealousy is to grab a notepad and write.
Expressive writing, where you focus on writing about upsetting events, can help improve your physical and mental well-being. The process of writing allows you to take control over an event, usually one that is unresolved.
You can structure your anxious thought process, gain perspective and better understand how you feel. Expressive writing also allows you to put distance between yourself and the upsetting event.
5. Be conscious of self-talk
We all have a constant inner-monologue — 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This monologue is called self-talk.
It’s that little voice inside your head that narrates what you’re doing and thinking, both conscious and subconscious. It reinstates the beliefs we have about ourselves, both positive and negative.
Those with a constant loop of negative self-talk often reinforce feelings of sadness, jealousy, and self-doubt. We tell ourselves we’re not smart enough to pass the test or attractive enough to land the date.
The key is to catch and challenge negative self-talk. Consider the information you might be missing. And put the situation into perspective — will it matter five or 10 years down the road?
Getting rid of the green-eyed monster
If you experience feelings of jealousy, don’t worry — we all do from time to time. It’s often irrational, something prompted by fear instead of logic.
Fight jealousy with facts and logic. When in doubt, talk with someone you trust about how you feel and how it’s affecting you. Someone who loves you will do their best to boost you up, not tear you down.
Jealousy is a completely normal feeling. But it shouldn’t control your life. If you feel this negative emotion is dictating your actions, take a step back and think about how you can make a change for good.